ARCs on Amazon?

  From time to time, I'll buy a used book on Amazon. I'm sure all of us do. But today, something really strange happened. The book was listed as "Used, Very Good" and had a generic description about being in good shape and shipping quick. You know, the ones that the mega sellers recycle over and over. Well today, the book came. Except it wasn't a book. It was an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC).

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 Warning bells went off like crazy. As a blogger who gets ARCs and has been educated many times about them, I knew this was no bueno. I mean, it says right on the cover "NOT FOR SALE". The seller sells books exclusively. They should know just as well as we do that selling this ARC was a huge no-no!

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  So I called Amazon and complained. They facilitated a return for me, but they seemed really uninterested that the seller sold an ARC. Luckily, I found the form to report policy violations and send in a complaint that way and left the seller bad feedback. I'm not sure if there's anything else I can do on my end. I was so shocked to open my package and see an ARC, though. I've always heard of them showing up in used bookstores and on Amazon and eBay. But I've never seen it before.


Have you guys ever had this happen?  
Did I miss something else I can do? 
Tell me if I did! I'll gladly do it.

14 comments:

  1. I actually read a couple blog posts about this before, and Amazon pretty much reacted the same way. The blogger (I don't remember who) was appalled that people were selling ARCs, and Amazon went "meh".

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    1. That was my EXACT experience! It's really made me rethink buying anything, new or used, from Amazon.

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  2. It happens on Abebooks, too. I was really shocked to find an ARC listed (even more expensively than the other books) as a limited edition, collectible copy.

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    1. Wow... I keep some ARCs to sit with the hardcover on my shelf because I really loved the book. But I would never buy an ARC on purpose for that reason. That's just crazy!

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  3. I don't buy books through Amazon, but I've heard more cases about people selling their ARC's. I even heard about someone who made a whole business out of it. I don't get it.. They spoil the fun for everyone. Publishers don't get the right attention & someone who really wants to read the book doesn't get a chance.

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    1. I've heard of someone making a business of it on eBay. It's just really tasteless and greedy. It gets under my skin so badly. Selling ARCs is such a bad representation of the entire publishing world, including bloggers.

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  4. I've never had it happen on Amazon, but there is a girl who sells ARCs on Ebay at ridiculously high prices and thinks that it's ok, even if the book hasn't released yet. I also bought a few hardcover books from Thriftbooks and when I got them they were ARCs, they claimed that the ISPN # is the same. You would think you would have noticed if it was a hardcover and/or a finished copy before sending.

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    1. How does she think that's okay?! Argh. Some people!

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  5. hahahaha Legolas. Your faces.

    It sounds like you did all you could do.Hopefully if enough people do it Amazon will change their attitutde

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    1. That was totally how I looked when I realized what happened!

      I hope they do. I doubt it, but I hope so.

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  6. I've never bought an ARC online (thankfully) but I realized last night that one of the books I bought from Half Price Books (a huge used book store chain here in Seattle) is very clearly marked as an ARC. Again, a situation of "they know better" and probably also "someone doesn't care/just wanted to make a buck". Unfortunately, I think there's nothing more YOU can do. Just like copyright issues, a lot of it comes down to people taking responsibility for their actions and respecting others. Those who refuse to do this cannot be made to (just ask me about the ex who legally owes me $5K).

    I really hope this doesn't kill the concept of releasing ARCs of books to generate buzz and reviews, because free books is always nice. It's just a shame that the bottom-feeders are taking advantage of businesses in that way.

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    1. You are totally right, Beth. But it still drives me insane! The seller finally got me in contact with me and seemed remorseful after I explained what they did. But I'm not too confident that, that will stop it from happening.

      I'm always afraid of that happening. Free books are amazing and the pre-release buzz is so vital and important. But if the bottom-feeders continue, I'm sure something will be done that will affect us all.

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  7. I've never had this happen, but I think you did the right thing. I wonder if you should email the publisher or author, since it seems like Amazon won't be doing much?

    It's disappointing that people don't respect the rules of ARCs and I hope it doesn't lead less ARCs for people who follow the rules.

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

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    1. I've wondered about doing that. The author is very active on social media and with the fans. But I'm not sure if there's much that could be done by the publisher or author. (This would be perfect timing for someone who knows to chime in and help a girl out!)

      You and me both, Emily!

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